Question

How do we get ambient sleep sounds to play via Google Assistant/Google Home?


Userlevel 1
After 5 minutes with Google Assistant controlling my devices in the house it’s already a mile ahead of Alexa who was always rather clunky. And the app was terrible.

However one of my favorite things to use my bedroom Sonos One for was to ask Alexa to play Thunderstorm sounds while falling asleep. When I ask Google assistant the same thing all I get is “Alright, Playing lighting and thunderstorm sounds on Google Play Music...Sorry it looks like the subscription to your for* Google Play Music is not supported.”

A standard google home device plays ambient sleep sounds without a Google Play subscription. Alexa was kind enough to do the same. But does this mean I’d have to pay for a Google Play Music subscription in order to simply have ambient sounds?

I don’t think it’s too early to start having basic expectations of our smart home devices. Turn on lights, tell me the weather, play white noise seem like they should be basic freebies to me.

And of all the music services, Google has the absolute worst app and limited services. There’s no way I’d switch from Apple Music.

Has anyone gotten this to work?

Help is appreciated. :-)

-Sleepless in North Carolina


* (That’s not a typo, she throws a random “for” in there)

13 replies

Userlevel 1
Actually I take back my comment about Google being superior to Alexa. If you ask G to turn off the light she says, “Sure turning off the large blue lamp.” At VOLUME 11.

Alexa just did it. No ridiculous, intrusive announcement at 2 am. Just a polite, soft ding of acceptance.

I looked in the Reddits and this is a known issue with Google Home. Apparently it thinks it needs to expound upon simple requests with lengthy acknowledgments and at stupid volumes. How did they not fix this in their first day of beta testing??? Come on google.
Terrible.

Now I’ve gone back to Alexa and while her app sucks and she’s not as clever at least she’s polite.
You can configure Google Home/Assistant to have "quiet hours", when it will use reduced volume.
Highly recommend turning that on!
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
Actually I take back my comment about Google being superior to Alexa. If you ask G to turn off the light she says, “Sure turning off the large blue lamp.” At VOLUME 11.

Alexa just did it. No ridiculous, intrusive announcement at 2 am. Just a polite, soft ding of acceptance.


Agree completely. I've had Google Home for about 18 months, and from Day 1 I've been begging Google along with every other user to add a "verbose mode OFF" option. It's completely silly, especially since they have the glaringly obvious example of Alexa.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
You can configure Google Home/Assistant to have "quiet hours", when it will use reduced volume.
Highly recommend turning that on!


quiet hours aren't available on the sonos version of google assistant are they?
I thought that "quiet hours" was a feature across all google assistant devices, rather than per-device? But I haven't tested that hypothesis.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
A lot of Google Home settings are missing with Sonos, including Night Mode to set quiet hours. Just do it with IFTTT.
Userlevel 2
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I thought that "quiet hours" was a feature across all google assistant devices, rather than per-device? But I haven't tested that hypothesis.

All Google assistant features are supposed to be available on all devices as per Google but sonos is heavily bucking that trend. I waited and begged for assistant support for so long, but they've handicapped it so much it just isn't viable. I can't even turn off my lights anymore...
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
I'm also finding that Google Assistant's native ambient sounds can't be played via a Sonos device. The Sonos implementation of Google Assistant is referring to my default music service each time.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
The custom routines we already had in use within our household have been working when used via the Sonos integration, so I wondered whether a routine could be used as a workaround. Weirdly, if I set up a custom routine called "thunderstorm test" and set the configurable sleep sounds option to Thunderstorm, the integration still incorrectly plays from my default music service. Really not sure what is going on here...
[..] they've handicapped it so much it just isn't viable. I can't even turn off my lights anymore...

That definitely sounds unusual -- I've had no problems at all controlling my lights, A/C, etc from the Sonos google assistant.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
I just discovered another odd quirk to do with sleep sounds.

When I ask Google Assistant on Sonos to play a specific ambient sound like "Hey Google, play rain sound", it goes to a Spotify playlist for rain sounds.

When I say the same thing to Google Home, it plays "the sound of rain" for me instead.

If I say "Hey Google, sleep sounds", it says "Welcome to Sleep Sounds", or "Welcome back", and offers to play anything from a list of sleep sounds. It seems to be a separate service. I can say "rain", and it says "playing rain sound". On Google Home I get the sound of rain. On Sonos I get nothing...
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Ive noticed the same asking it to play white noise. It just plays a 1 minute sound file from play music
Still having this problem too, it still doesn’t work. Come on Sonos, you can do better than this.

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